By LARRY VAUGHT
Even if Nik Scalzo was not such a highly skilled quarterback, he would still be going to college for free.
Maybe not at the University of Kentucky where he’ll report as a true freshman quarterback next week to start his collegiate career on a full scholarship, but his academics would have taken care of him even if he had not completed 60 percent of his passes (522 of 876) for 6,471 yards and 74 touchdowns with just 23 interceptions in three seasons and ran for 613 yards and four scores.
His father, Jerry, has a hotel and restaurant in Ft. Lauderdale. He told his son as long as he maintained a 4.0 grade-point average, he only had to work when he needed extra cash.
“He really couldn’t work regularly with school, training, injuries and all,” Jerry Scalzo said.
Nik Scalzo took his father’s words to heart.
“He had a full (academic) ride to any Florida college,” Jerry Scalzo said. “He had a 1,200 on his ACT and finished with about a 4.6 GPA (on a weighted grade-point scale). He did a great job.”
The player’s father, who is on vacation with his son and family this week before Nik Scalzo reports to UK next week, has been impressed by UK coach Mark Stoops, offensive coordinator Eddie Gran and quarterback coach Darin Hinshaw.
“We are a very conservative family. The culture of character at Kentucky is what I really liked,” Jerry Scalzo said. “The ‘4 For 40’ to me, that was one of the most important things going for Kentucky. It’s just an extension of how we are raising him and we felt very comfortable with that.”